I was the hero in the cowboy westerns who comes upon the scene standing tall and rides of into the sunset alone. I was lonely, but you would never have heard me say it. I was hurting, but stood tall and would not show my pain. I had watched John Wayne live this life on screen and most the men I had ever known live it in person. I thought this was the right way to live. But it’s really what I call “The Big Lie”.
The big lie is the lie that the devil has been telling for centuries. The sad thing is that over those centuries most of us have listened. I know I did and sometimes I still do. I listened when he whispered “No one cares”. I paid attention when he advised “You’re the only one that feels this way, so just suck it up”. But I have learned that this is not of God.
God is not about loneliness. His joy is not in our suffering in silence in the dark. He doesn't urge us to put on the brave face to hide the pain inside. Quite the contrary. God is about togetherness. His joy is in guiding us through the gauntlet of this life and bringing us through it together. This is why Jesus said "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matt 18:19-20. Jesus promised us that when we come together in unity he comes together with us. This is one of the greatest promises of the Bible.
We are not expected to stand by ourselves. In fact, we are commanded by Jesus, our Lord and Sovereign King to:
- Love God and those around us. " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' " Luke 10:27
- Love one another. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35
- Tell each other when we’re hurt. "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” Matt 18:15
- Admit our own wrong doing when we’ve hurt each other. "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matt 5:23
- Help each other get to heaven. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:25
We can do none of this alone.